Vatican launches new Latin academy with Tweet

Updated 23 November 2012

Vatican launches new Latin academy with Tweet

VATICAN CITY: The head of the Vatican’s pontifical council for culture on Wednesday announced the launch of a new academy for the teaching of Latin with a Tweet written in the ancient language.
“Hodie una cum Ivano Dionigi novam aperiemus academiam pontificiam latinitatis a Benedicto conditam, hora XVII, via Conciliationis V,” Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, an avid Tweeter, told his online followers.
The message translates as: “Today with Ivano Dionigi we will launch the new pontifical academy for Latin wanted by Benedict XVI at 1700 hours at number 5, Via della Conciliazione” — the main avenue leading to the Vatican.
Latin expert Dionigi is the new dean of the academy, which will promote written and spoken Latin in Catholic institutions like seminaries.
Pope Benedict XVI earlier this month announced the creation of the “Academia Latinitatis” to promote the study of Latin culture and language at a time when knowledge of Latin is rapidly being lost among Catholic clergy and believers.
Latin remains the official language of the Vatican but is now rarely used in Catholic ceremonies. Ever since being elected to the papacy, Benedict has promoted greater use of Latin as a way of countering divisions in the Church.


Pentagon awards United Launch Alliance, SpaceX launch contracts

Updated 09 August 2020

Pentagon awards United Launch Alliance, SpaceX launch contracts

  • The two companies lay claim to billions of dollars in lucrative military contracts for a span of five years

WASHINGTON: The US Air Force said it awarded United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Elon Musk’s SpaceX $653 million in combined military launch contracts under the Pentagon’s next-generation, multibillion-dollar launch capability program.

The contracts are for launch service orders beginning in 2022 and allocate $337 million to ULA, a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corp., and $316 million to SpaceX for the first missions of roughly 34 total that the two rocket firms will support through 2027.

ULA will receive a contract for approximately 60 percent of those launch service orders using its next-generation Vulcan rocket, while Musk’s SpaceX, using its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets, will receive approximately 40 percent, the Air Force’s acquisition chief Will Roper told reporters on Friday.

The awards are part of the Pentagon’s 2014 mandate from Congress to curb its dependency on rockets using Russia’s RD-180 engine and transition to US-made rockets for launching Washington’s most sensitive national security payloads to space.

The program, called National Security Space Launch Phase 2, is aimed at “building a competitive industry base that we hope doesn’t just help military and national security missions, but that helps our nation continue to compete and dominate in space,” Roper added.

“Today’s awards mark a new epoch of space launch thatwill finally transition the Department off Russian RD-180 engines,” Roper said in a statement.

The two companies lay claim to billions of dollars in lucrative military contracts for a span of five years that competitors Blue Origin, the space company of Amazon.com Inc. owner Jeff Bezos, and Northrop Grumman also competed for.

Blue Origin Chief Executive Bob Smith said in a statement he was “disappointed” in the Pentagon’s decision, adding that the company will continue to develop its heavy-lift New Glenn rocket “to fulfill our current commercial contracts, pursue a large and growing commercial market, and enter into new civil space launch contracts.”